Can I go to small claims court to get back my money for removal of overgrowth from my neighbor’s yard?

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Can I go to small claims court to get back my money for removal of overgrowth from my neighbor’s yard?

My neighbor bought the house next to me about 6 months ago. He doesn’t think that he is responsible for clearing the growth of Acacia in my property from his yard. I have spent $500 to cut and clear the Acacia originating from his yard. Do I have the right to collect from my neighbor what I spent to clear the growth?

Asked on September 12, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Well, you can try but really anything that grows over the property line you are entitled to cut or keep.  Say you liked what was growing.  He would have no right to come over to your side of the property line and cut it down, unless he was pruning to prevent disaster or because he knew of some reason that the growth could cause damage (i.e., a diseased tree, etc.).  And he would have to inform you of his intention and ask your permission to come to your side to do so. Other wise it would be trespassing.  I would speak with an attorney in your area as to the matter and what you can do.  Good luck.


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